The authors of this book have joined together for a third time to produce a book on Japanese political parties and elections. The first two books under the title of The Japanese Party System were also published by Westview Press in 1986 and 1992. This book, Japan's New Party System, has a different purpose than the previous volumes. The first two books had as their task the presentation of a vast amount of material on the various parties of the 1955-1993 party system. Since 1955, Japanese politics and parties had been rather uneventful and predictable; consequently, many Japanese political scientists preferred to study other nations. Decade after decade, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ruled Japan while the permanent opposition party, the Japan Socialist Party GSP) revolved around it but could never even come close to replacing it in power on the national level. All of this changed in 1993 after the LOP split, new parties emerged and formed a non-LOP government, and a new party system began. This book is about the Second Party System and how Japanese politics has changed from the old LOP-dominated First Party System.

Abbreviations – Preface -- Note on Personal Names -- Chapter 1: The Changing Postwar Party System -- Chapter 2: Rules of the Game: The Impact of the Electoral System on Political Parties -- Chapter 3: The Money Base of Japanese Politics -- Chapter 4: The Liberal Democratic Party: Still the Most Powerful Party in Japan -- Chapter 5: The New Parties of the Second Party System -- Chapter 6: The Komeito Returns: The Party of "Buddhist Democracy" -- Chapter 7: The Social Democratic Party (Formerly Socialist Party): A Turbulent Odyssey -- Chapter 8: Japanese Communist Party: The "Lovable" Party -- Chapter 9: The Future of the Second Japanese Party System – Appendixes – Bibliography – Index.